Cappadocia, an area in Turkey where entire cities have been carved into rock, is pretty incredible on its own. But whenever hot-air balloons pepper the sky, its beauty level simply skyrockets.
Arashiyama: Kyoto, Japan
The serene beauty of the bamboo forest in the Arashiyama district is a wonderful site to behold. No wonder it’s one of Pinterest’s most beloved places.
Salar de Uyuni: Daniel Campos, Bolivia
The reflective surface of the world’s largest salt mine is like something from the imagination of Salvador Dali—although we’re happy it actually exists in real life.
Bryce Canyon: Bryce, Utah
Bryce Canyon’s layered red and orange rock pillars, known as hoodoos, make it a can’t-miss destination for campers and shutterbugs alike.
Mù Cang Chải: Vietnam
Mù Cang Chải manages to be one of the most breathtaking spots in Vietnam, with terraced rice fields and mountainous landscapes.
The largest glacier in Iceland is also one of the country’s most beautiful sites. The landscape under the glacier is like a whole other world, complete with ice caves, canyons, and volcanoes.
Pyramids of Giza: El Giza, Egypt
Giza’s three great pyramids are mysterious marvels of architecture. We may never know whether or not they were built by mutants.
Okavango Delta: Botswana
The lush Okavango Delta is like a real-world Eden, where cheetahs, zebras, buffalo, and rhinos roam freely.
Namib Desert: Namibia
Red sand dunes and skeletal trees make Namibia the closest thing we have to Mars on Earth. The Namib Desert was also the filming location for Mad Max: Fury Road.
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
You might know them better as the Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride, but this seaside wonder is actually located just south of Galway. Inconceivable!
Benagil Sea Cave: Algarve, Portugal
The southern coast of Portugal is lined with exquisite beaches and caves, including the famous Benagil Sea Cave (skylight included).
Ashikaga Flower Park: Ashikaga, Japan
Ashikaga’s wisteria trees bloom brilliantly for a few weeks every spring, turning the park into a vision of pastel pinks and purples.
Paro Taktsang: Bhutan
Paro Taktsang, also known as “The Tiger’s Nest” monastery, hangs on a cliffside precipice more than 10,000 feet above the ground. If the intricate temple complex doesn’t wow you, then the sweeping views of the Paro valley surely will.
Kolukkumalai Tea Estate: Munnar, India
Situated more than 8,000 feet above sea level, Kolukkumalai is the highest tea estate in the world—and easily the most beautiful.
The Great Blue Hole: Belize
Known for its circular shape and strikingly deep blue color, the Great Blue Hole is a 1,000-foot-wide sinkhole in the middle of Belize’s Lighthouse Reef. While an aerial shot is enough to convince anyone of its beauty, scuba divers are the ones who get to experience the wonders that lie beneath—massive limestone stalactites and stalagmites that formed during the last glacial period.
Of all the amazing cities in Italy, there is something truly enchanting about the sunlit canals of Venice.
Halong Bay: Vietnam
Halong Bay, located in northeast Vietnam, is beloved for its blue waters and spread of limestone islands, all occupied by tropical trees and wildlife.
Moravian Fields: Czech Republic
It’s more believable to think the Moravian Fields are the product of an oil painter’s genius brushstrokes, but these pastel-colored hills are very much a reality.
Nā Pali Coast: Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai boasts one of the world’s most insanely beautiful coastlines, which makes you work a bit to soak up its wonders—Nā Pali can only be seen from a helicopter, catamaran, or rather grueling hike.
Serengeti National Park: Tanzania
Tanzania’s portion of the Serengeti is the ideal location for an African adventure.
Lavender fields: Provence, France
The seemingly endless stretches of lavender fields make Provence one of the prettiest (and best-smelling) places in France.
Fernando de Noronha: Brazil
This archipelago off the northeast coast of Brazil consists of 21 islands, featuring some of the best beaches and most beautiful landscapes in the country. Think waterfalls, towering cliffs, stretches of white sand, and (maybe best of all) limited tourists.
The Arctic Circle
Whether you’re spotting the Northern Lights in Sweden or glaciers off the coast of Greenland, the Arctic Circle is a new kind of hidden paradise.
Machu Picchu: Peru
Machu Picchu’s panoramic views and intricate (and a tad mysterious) stone walls more than validate the site’s worldwide fame.
Grand Canyon National Park: Arizona, USA
There’s a reason why more than 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year: It’s one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but a lot easier to access than Mount Everest or the Great Barrier Reef.
While it may not be the first place you’d pick for a vacation abroad, Samarkand is a standout with intricately tiled buildings and colorfully dressed locals. It also has a rich history as a Silk Road stopping point.
Glowworm Caves: Waitomo, New Zealand
Leave it to New Zealand to make even worms look beautiful. The Waitomo Caves hold thousands of bioluminescent larvae that leave long strings of mucus (sounds gross, looks dazzling) and glow like a subterranean Milky Way.
Pamukkale: Denizli, Turkey
The stacked pools in Pamukkale are usually surrounded by snow and frozen waterfalls, but the blue waters are hot and open to bathers. You’ll never be satisfied with your hotel’s infinity pool again.
Valle de Cocora: Quindío, Colombia
In case you were wondering where to find the world’s tallest palm trees (palma de cera), you needn’t look further. The lithe trees are even more incredible set against the backdrop of misty green hills and sharp mountains.
Oia: Santorini, Greece
Santorini is officially one of the best islands in the world—and one of the most picturesque. The small village of Oia is particularly captivating, with its whitewashed buildings and bright blue roofs.
The ancient city of Petra may be renowned for the buildings carved directly into the sides of cliffs, but its real claim to fame is being the (fictional) home of the Holy Grail.
Lake Bled: Slovenia
Whether you view its emerald-green waters in the summer or get the snow-covered Julian Alps as a backdrop in the winter, there’s no denying the picture-perfect charm of this popular destination.
Isle of Skye: Scotland
With fairy pools and bright green hills, the magical Isle of Skye is the stuff dreams are made of (regardless of whether you’ve binge-watched Outlander yet).
Namaqualand: South Africa
While Namaqualand is arid for most of the year, it comes alive for a short period during early springtime every year. During this time, the landscape becomes covered with orange and white daisies, along with a rainbow of other flowers, making it a temporary tourist attraction.
Great Wall of China: Beijing, China
It’s over 12,000 miles long, thousands of years old, and can be seen from space—no wonder the Great Wall nabbed a spot on this list.
Bagan (formerly Pagan): Myanmar
Bagan’s ancient city skyline is like nothing else in the world, with ochre stupas and temples rising above the surrounding forests.
Redwood National Park: California
Standing in the middle of California’s Redwood National Park is a humbling experience to be sure, especially when you look straight up at the 2,000-year-old, 300-feet-tall natural giants.
The Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach: Queensland, Australia
Although the largest living thing on Earth can be seen from space, the best vantage point belongs to the avid snorkelers and scuba divers who visit each year. If you must resurface, do it at the Whitsundays—namely Whitehaven Beach, often considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful beaches (we tend to agree).
Uluru: Northern Territory, Australia
No matter how you choose to view the 700-million-year-old Uluru (or Ayers Rock)—from above by hot air balloon, across the desert on a motorcycle, hiking at the base during the technicolor sunset—witnessing its majesty should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Milford Sound: New Zealand
New Zealand is no stranger to breathtaking landscapes. Case in point: Milford Sound, a mountainous fjord where you can live out all of your Lord of the Ringsfantasies.
Wulingyuan Scenic Area: Zhangjiajie, China
Scenic might be an understatement in this case. This 100-square-mile attraction contains thousands of sandstone pillars that are nature’s version of skyscrapers—some even stretch taller than the Empire State Building’s midpoint.
Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley): Alaska
Despite controversies over name changes and a shrinking elevation, Denali’s beauty is worth braving the extreme low temperatures.
Angkor Wat: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Some popular tourist attractions are worth braving the potential crowds for, and Angkor Wat is at the top of that list. No matter how many Asian temples you’ve seen, this one will always be the grandest and most breathtaking.
Torngat Mountains National Park: Labrador, Canada
Easily one of the most beautiful places in Canada, the remote Torngat Mountains National Park is a land of polar bears and caribou, glaciers and fjords, and a wild stretch of mountains you’re not likely to ever forget.
With its gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets, it’s easy to see why Boracay was voted the best island in the world by our readers.
Socotra kind of looks like it was transported to Earth from a distant planet. The UFO-like dragon’s blood trees are the island’s most notable feature.
Bromo Volcano: East Java, Indonesia
Mount Bromo is perhaps the most well-known volcano in East Java’s Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, thanks to its accessibility and epic sunrise views.
Torres del Paine National Park: Patagonia, Chile
Torres del Paine is like a microcosm of all the things that make Patagonia such a spectacular place: sky-high mountains, blue icebergs, and mythical lakes.